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Summary: Are you a worry wart? Worrying doesn’t do anything to help you, in fact, it often makes things worse. Jesus gives us three keys to overcoming worry in our lives: Refuse to worry, meditate on God’s love, and put first things first.

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THE BLESSED LIFE #7: OVERCOMING WORRY

INTRO: We are living in a world where people are worrying about everything from the economy to the threat of terrorism and war. Yesterday on news: “Global financial crisis!”

The world’s solutions to worry: Think positive, watch movies, take pills! (www.wikihow.com)

THE BIG IDEA: Are you a worry wart? Worrying doesn’t do anything to help you, in fact, it often makes things worse. Jesus gives us three keys to overcoming worry in our lives: Refuse to worry, meditate on God’s love, and put first things first – seek God’s kingdom.

A LOOK AT WORRIES:

A.J. Cronin, author-physician, analyzed patients’ worries this way:

• Things that never happen 40%

• Things in the past which can’t be changed 30%

• Health issues 12%

• Miscellaneous, petty problems 10%

• Real, legitimate troubles 8%

1. REFUSE TO WORRY – WORRY IS A CHOICE!

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?” (Matt. 6:25).

• Jesus commands us: “Do not worry.” So – worry = a choice, and a sin.

• Do not worry about your life: what you will eat, drink or wear.

• In our society today, we’ve bought into the lie that life IS all about food, fashion & stuff!

• To decide “I will not worry” does not mean you don’t care. It doesn’t mean you don’t make dinner for the kids or that you go outside with no clothes on. “No worries!”

• It’s not a Hakuna Matata philosophy that grabs a surf board and a latte, dude!

• WORRY: to be anxious; to be troubled; to torment oneself with disturbing thoughts; to seize with the teeth and shake or mangle. Why would you do that to yourself?

• Worry has physical consequences: headaches, neck pains, ulcers, and even back pains.

2. MEDITATE ON GOD’S LOVE.

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?” (Matt. 6:26-30).

• v.26 - Jesus says, “Look at the birds of the air, and the flowers of the field.” Why?

• He is saying: “You are more valuable to God than the birds and flowers!”

• God loves you and cares for you. The more we know how much our Heavenly Father loves us, the more we will trust Him. Faith trusts God, worry doubts God.

• v.27 - Jesus said, “And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?” In other words, worry doesn’t help you at all! In fact, worry makes things worse!

3. PUT FIRST THINGS FIRST – SEEK GOD’S KINGDOM.

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ’What shall we eat?’ or ’What shall we drink?’ or ’What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.” (Matt. 6:31-32).

• When you worry, Jesus says, you are like the Gentiles – those who don’t know God.

• God, your Good, Loving Heavenly Father, knows what you need!

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matt. 6:33-34).

• The cure for worry is to seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness.

• When we do this, we are trusting God, and as we trust Him, He meets our needs.

• My first pastor, Erwin Dyck, preached a message once, “Why borrow sorrow from tomorrow?”

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” (v.34, The Message).

ILLUSTRATION: Worry is like a ‘loose cannon’ on the inside of us.

Victor Hugo, author of Les Miserables, wrote a short story called, "93." In the midst of this story a ship at sea is caught in a terrible storm. The boat rocks to and fro, buffeted by the waves, when suddenly the crew hears a terrible crashing sound below deck. They know what it is. A cannon they are carrying has broken loose and is smashing into the ship’s sides. Two brave sailors, at the risk of their lives, manage to go below and fasten it again, for they know that the heavy cannon on the inside of their ship is more dangerous to them than the storm on the outside. So it is with people. Problems within are often much more destructive to us than the problems without.

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